Thursday, September 27, 2007
Hunting for Condos in Fargo Market?
House Hunting Tip: One of the most enticing reasons to buy a condominium rather than a single-family residence is that it provides a simpler, low-maintenance life style. If this is your goal, make sure that you'll actually be getting what you bargained for. Don't assume that your homeowner dues will take care of all exterior maintenance. You may even find variability within one complex. The dues in one phase might cover exterior paint and roof replacement, but not in another.
Before buying a condo, find out exactly what is covered in your homeowner association dues. Also, find out if there are owners who are delinquent in their dues, and find out how much the dues have been increased over time. In a new development, the initial dues assessment may not be realistic in terms of handling future problems. In older buildings that require a lot of upkeep, you may find that the homeowner's dues are exorbitant.
Investigate any pending litigation against the complex. If the project is new, check out the builder's reputation. Have homeowner's associations of other complexes he built sued him? How does he deal with routine complaints and requests for repairs?
Read the minutes of recent homeowner's association meetings to find out if there are issues you should be aware of. Is the reserve fund adequate to handle unexpected expenses? Or, should you anticipate further assessments to repair a tennis court or replace a furnace?
The Closing: It's a good idea to talk with several current owners to find out what they like and don't like about the complex. If the soundproofing is minimal, or the water pressure is low, you may want to consider buying elsewhere.
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